Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lessons from Jamaica

Saturday evening our team returned from Jamaica after a week of work in the Robin’s Nest Children’s Home, a Christian orphanage. Jamaica, known for its resorts and tropical haven for Americans (among other things), may have seemed almost like a pseudo-vacation for a team of twenty five people from Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minnesota. But I assure you, we were far from the illusion of Jamaica’s problem free paradise. Coming back after seeing first-hand the reality of a third world country makes me really think about my priorities. Many things seem much more insignificant than they did before I left. And blogging seems quite trivial when I realize that there are twenty five Jamaican orphans on the top of a mountain in Montego Bay going to sleep tonight without a mother or father to kiss them goodnight. Not to mention the countless other children in far worse situations in that depressed country.

It would be quite difficult to recap all of the things that happened on this trip, so I will simply say a few things. Michelle Robinette, the founder and leader of Robin’s Nest, asked us three questions our last night there: what was your favorite moment, what was your least favorite moment, and how did the Lord touch you—and here are my answers.

My favorite moment of the trip was fellowshipping and praying with an eighty year old Jamaican woman, named Neta, at the market on Saturday. She sold me Blue Mountain Coffee (amazing, by the way), and really was a blessing to Whitney and me. The last thing she said to me before I left was, “If I don’t see you again, I’ll see you at the Pearly Gates.” And oh, what a glorious day that will be!

My least favorite moment was being sick. I caught something awful on Monday and ended up being out until Thursday. I had not been that sick in a long time and seriously thought I was never going to get better. Something about being really sick in a hot, humid, country that is not America makes it all the worse. God really used it to stretch me and show me even more His trustworthiness and absolute sovereignty over all things, even bacteria’s in our body. He also used it to show me that I am not in control, nor do I always have to be in control (even though I often try to control everything).

The Lord touched me by solidifying in my heart how much I really do want to adopt someday. I knew I wanted to before, but spending the days with the little ones, and putting faces to their parentless status made me want to save all the children of Robin’s Nest, Jamaica, and the world. I pray that one day I will be able to be a mother to many orphans, whether through parental mothering or spiritual mothering.

People always talk about how hard it is to come back and describe what you have seen, and it is. But the thing that stood out to me the most on this trip was that one day all things will be made right by King Jesus. One day the knees of all Jamaicans will bow down, along with the rest of the Earth, and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord over all. This is why we do missions. We want the nations to be among the saints who bow voluntarily, not the judged who bow under compulsion. The women living at the dump and the children living in one room shacks with fifteen other family members are reminders that all is not right just yet, but it’s coming soon—so we wait for our glorious King. And when He comes, I pray I’ll be standing next to Neta and the little ones of the Robin’s Nest, praising God that now there are no more tears and the meek have inherited the Earth.


debt said...

Oh, Courtney, how you've made me weep and also, made me think. Thanks for the perspective on those who will bow the knee to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. So often in my desire for justice, I look for those who mock, shake their fist, and do evil to bow the knee when Christ returns; thinking, now you'll bow! Thanks for reminding me that God is not willing that any should perish and that I need to pray more for those who are lost; that they, too, will bow because they know and love Him. You are a constant encouragement and blessing to me. Keep on!

Waldemar Family said...

Good post. Jamaica has also made an impression on our hearts through Whitney's stories. I love you. I miss you already!


Whitney said...

Thank-you so much for posting Courtney! Seeing the pictures and remembering Neta made me cry! I love you, friend!


stephanie said...


Thanks for posting about Jamaica--I miss you!

love, love...steph

2520 said...

Courtney. Thanks for writing your thoughts about Jamaica and for showing some pictures. When you come back to MN for a visit, you should bring more pictures! We miss you at 2520, but I am excited for you. Love you, Andrea

Rachel said...

Hey Courtney,
It looks like God really used you on your mission trip. I look forward to seeing you when you come back to visit. Hope school goes well for you. RG